Friday, December 29, 2006

Florida Leads the way in Luxury Golf Course Real Estate

UNIQUE HOMES: Stateside, Florida Leads the Way in luxury golf course real estate with 545 golf-course communities. Since 2001, 1764 new golf holes have been added, which would equal 98 new 18-hole golf courses. In 2006, 153 new holes appeared through August.

Monday, December 25, 2006

PORTABILITY PETITION (re property taxes)

TO SIGN and WHERE TO MAIL PORTABILITY PETITION (re property taxes) go to:

and click on link to portability petition - get address to mail petition to, print it out and sign and mail it.

"The Florida Legislature could add the issue of Portability to its January special session agenda and adopt our ballot language," said Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Gary Nikolits, a member of the Board that sponsors the petition drive. "That would save us the work of gathering the nearly 750,000 signatures needed to place the issue on the ballot," he added.


Sunday, October 15, 2006


A pedestrian walkway is proposed from Mizner Park to Royal Palm Place and negotiations soon will begin for the purchase of land in the area, with eminent domain (“the forced taking of land”) a possible consideration. The aim is to create a path with eye-appealing amenities to draw people to see it, and to shop along the way. The Boca Raton Historical Society is trying to preserve certain sections of the city’s retail center because of the historic value. The land acquisition should end by the 3rd quarter of 2008. A bond issue will develop to cover costs, and public input will be involved Design of the spine should run from mid-2008 to the first quarter of 2 009. Construction and engineering could start in the 2nd quarter of 2009 with completion planned for the 4th quarter of 2010.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Executive Jet Management added a private jet to Boca Raton which has a non-stop range of 4400 miles, and can fly Boca to Los Angeles or Miami to Brazil. The company is a leading provider of worldwide jet charter and aircraft management services which has earned the “Best Charter Service” award from Professional Pilot magazine subscribers for it’s 9th consecutive year. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of NetJets Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company and manages aircraft in more than 60 locations throughout the country. The jet features a DVD player, two 18” video monitors, two data ports, flight phone and galley with microwave and conventional ovens. The plane is a Falcon 2000EX.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

TRUTH or FICTION in the headlines?

An article in the Wall St Journal on September 12, 2006, stated that home sales have "plunged over the past year in many areas where prices had soard over the preceding five years." The full story is that prices only went down 1.7% although the number of home sales did plummet 12.6% in August 2006 vs. August 2005. More accurately, sales have EASED. Not a huge plunging change! Although not the case in 2004 and 2005, there is a slowdown in home sales during most summers in home sales in Florida!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Newspapers will face a huge loss of real estate ads to the Internet, according to Borrell Associates, a national consulting and research firm that tracks local internet advertising and crafts strategies for media and websites. See .

"Toward the end of 2005, the Internet became the most-used method of selling a home -- beating out even the old-faithful yard sign," says Borrell. “The $11 billion spent on total real estate advertising stagnated, growing less than 4% over the past four years, while the available advertising inventory -- the number of existing homes for sale on the market -- rose 41 percent in the last 12 months. That metric alone is enough to stop a real estate advertising executive dead in his or her tracks."

The Newspaper Association of America reports that classified ad revenue amounted to $16.6 billion in 2004 -- down from $19.6 billion from 2000. Corrected for inflation the situation is far worse: Newspapers would have to have taken in $21.5 billion in 2005 to equal their 2000 classified revenues. See .

Monday, September 18, 2006


September 18, 2006 - Says David Lereah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, "Mortgage rates are one of the bright spots in the economy right now, with an unexpected decline recently in the 30-year fixed rate to a narrow range around six-and-a-half percent. This should encourage some of the nearly 4 million people who’ve found newly created jobs over the last two years.”

Sunday, September 17, 2006



A one-time charge of $20.70 for every $1000 of annual homeowner insurance premiums due for Florida homeowners with their next renewal bills, added to rate hikes that have already appeared. This is to HELP cover Citizen’s Property Insurance Corp’s $1.7-Billion deficit from 2005, to shore up the state’s home insurer of last resort and now its biggest property insurer.

This is the second time in 2 years that all Florida home insurance policyholders are being forced to bail out Citizens, which has been drained by hurricane-related claims.

Once the assessment gets the go-ahead from the state Office of Insurance Regulation, homeowner insurance companies will pay Citizens and pass the charge on to their customers when the policies are renewed.

This assessment, already approved, is expected to raise $163-MM, and combined with $715-MM in sales tax money already set aside, plus the assessment Citizens is to consider next month which is expected to raise $822-MM.

This information is from the 9-17-06 issue of the Sun-Sentinel newspaper.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Have You Read About CarePages? is a free secure private internet space for families and invited friends to form an online support community around a patient. This space can be used to post get-well wishes, upload photos and share info about the loved one’s illness, recovery and/or rehab. Patients can respond online, and family members can communicate with staff.

One family member is designated to be in charge of the space. CarePages currently manages over 50,000 individual CarePages communities with over 5-MM members in 190 countries around the world. Over 500 hospital and health care facilities across the US and Canada are offering their own customized versions of CarePages.

Go to for a visit.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


There has been a change in how association’s policies are handled by Citizens Property Insurance Company. Previously one policy would group condo buildings together, and now Citizen’s board decided they will treat the buildings separately. A stricter criteria will still apply to individual condo buildings that cost $10-MM or more to replace. This change could save associations thousands of dollars on their insurance premiums. Depending on how the associations decide to use the refunds, either homeowners could receive refunds or the funds could be held in reserve by the association. Rate reductions could be 20% to 30%, but that will still be more than associations paid to Poe Financial Group previously. Change will apply retroactively to any policies issued on or after May 15, which is when Citizens first issued condo association policies using the stricter standards. About 2000 associations are affected. It will take 60-90 days for Citizens to process the refunds.

Friday, August 18, 2006

SINGLE WOMEN HOME BUYERS: A Market Segment to Consider

The Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies’ report states that unmarried women (2/3 were previously married) have become a large segment of the home buying population, with 63% of buyers being married couples, 17% being unmarried men, and 20% being single women. Many of the women have children.

While single women average 11% less median income than single men, at $37,000, and while at first the single women do not purchase single family homes, they tend to move up by building their net worth by buying low, selling when the market grows and moving into a larger, more expensive dwelling.
The Women’s Mortgage Industry Network was launched four years ago to help women in their quest for home ownership, and is sponsored by Freddie Mac.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Boca’s newest nature preserve has opened for bidding for its creation, running from the rear of Sugar Sand Park nearly to the CSX railroad tracks. The company that wins the contract will be responsible for grading, paving, landscaping and irrigation. A kiosk is also planned. School groups can visit here and it will eventually be tied in with Sugar Sand Park. There will be a small parking lot and a pathway to connect the area. Once the contract is awarded, perhaps at the August 22nd City Countil meeting, it will take about 9-10 months to complete, and work might begin this October.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

HOA and CONDO laws

While the lack of reserves last year forced many association to impose huge special assessments on owners, the mandatory HOAs can continue operating without a reserve fund to pay emergency cleanup and other expenses.

High-rise condos must install sprinklers in hallways and lobbies by 2013, and associations must provide a generator for at least one elevator in each building by 2007 for at least 5 days after a disaster, so that the elderly and infirm residents won’t again get trapped on upper floors.

The length of time a condo owner or association can file suit against the buildrer for construction defects has been reduced from 15 years to 10 years.
State condo law is 93 pages, compared with 30 pages for the homeowner law. Governor Jeb Bush has ordered the state Department of Business & Professional Regulation to recommend by October 1st whether the state should consider combining laws for all “common interest communities,” include HOAs, condos, co-ops and timeshares.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Palm Beach County studies slightly larger cut in property taxes

A proposal to cut property taxes by 2% has been upped to a proposal to cut by 3% bby Commissioner Mary McCarty, with residents with homestead exemptions having no change in their county tax bills. The 3% tax rate cut would offset the rise in property values, with homeowners paying $4.30 for every $1000 in assessed values instead of the current $4.45.

Public hearings on the budget are set for July with voting in September. The 2006 budget was $3.9-billion; the 2007 budget calls for a $4.3-billion spending plan.
With a 21% spike in property values, about $100-million in extra revenues was created, even after McCarty’s proposed tax rate cut. Property value growth is expected to slow in 2007 due to a softened real estate market.

The Economic Council of Palm Beach County submitted a letter saying the tax rate reductions being discussed aren’t enough, considering the county has benefited from a soaring real estate market in recent years.
A 9% property tax cut was voted on for Broward County, although new projects proposed there might eat deeply into that tax cut.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Raising more than $200,000 last year from participating organizations, the 35-year old festival is held in August, a traditionally “slow” month for sales. Organizer is the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, who is also the promoter. The Festival’s feature event run by Wine & All That Jazz, will be held Friday, August 11th from 6-8 pm at the Boca Raton Resort & Club’s Mizner Center. August 1, the 2nd Annual Splash of Gold Fashion Show will be held at the Marriott Boca Raton at Boca Center. Proceeds benefit education. Many local restaurants will be hold activities connected to the Festival. For more information, call 561-395-4433.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Florida Waterfront Condos

To see photos and read information on Florida Waterfront Condos in the Palm Beach and Broward County areas, go to and if you need more information, contact for a quick and informative reply.

With beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway and canals leading to the ocean, many waterfront condominium buildings have been built in past years, and some new and stunning ones have risen in these areas. This is PRIME TERRITORY. Some complexes offer boat docks. Situated oceanfront, the complexes have beaches and most have pools along with fitness rooms, a few have their own restaurants, and community rooms. Located across A1A on the Intracoastal Side, some there also have boat docks and similar amenities. All offer a wonderful lifestyle on the water.

Please put your comments and questions right here, and Marilyn FARBER JACOBS will find and give you a response. WELCOME ABOARD!